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Free Meal Planning Template
Have you ever had one of those days where nothing you do seems to be going right? Your alarm didn’t go off, the baby was in a cranky mood, your husband was unable to help when he got home from work and now it’s dinner time and your are lost.
You know you need to cook but don’t know exactly what to make. So you start a meal not realizing you’re missing a few key ingredients. Next thing you know you are improvising resulting in a sub-par dinner that neither your husband or kids want to eat.
Now you’re on the brink of tears – you’re trying your absolute best and it’s just not working.
Let me tell you ladies, I’ve been here and probably a few more times than I’d like to admit. Growing up, my mom was a rock-star when it came to food. Dinner always got put on the table – homemade and delicious. Never any tears just good food and great family time.
One day I asked her how she did it and meal planning was the answer.
Why is meal planning important?
Meal planning is an amazing tool you can you to help you eat better, stay on budget, and keep your sanity. How you might ask? Let me break it down for you…
Because you’ll be planning your meals out – you won’t have to worry about going out to eat for dinner or eating a frozen pizza. You will write out your meals for a whole week so you get to pick what your family eats!
Choose healthy recipes that have whole grains, vegetables, and high quality protein. You can even throw in fruit for desserts!
Stay on Budget
Since you will be planning your meals in advance you can choose how expensive or inexpensive you need them to be. Check out health recipes on Pinterest and make up your grocery list.
Use resources like Walmart Grocery Pick-up, Sam’s Club Pick-Up, or Publix Grocery Delivery to order your grocery online. This truly helps me stay on budget when meal planning. I’m able to see how much everything is before check-out allowing me to remove this and change my meal plan to help stay on budget.
And since you won’t need to eat out at all (unless you choose to in your meal plan) you’ll save on those expensive meals.
Keep Your Sanity
Meal planning helps you stay sane during dinner time. Not only will you know what’s for dinner, your whole family will too!
There will be no need to run to the store last minute because you’ll have everything you need right there at home!
How To Start Meal Planning
Let me give you an example of what I do when I meal plan:
Sunday afternoon I get out my planner and sit down with my husband and look at our week ahead. I write down what day’s he’ll be flying late and any appointments we have. I usually ask if there are any particular recipes he’d like me to make that week as well.
From there I pull out handy-dandy Pinterest and write down our menu. This was my example from last week:
Monday – Skillet Roasted Veggies with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli
Tuesday – Steak and Sweet Potato Bowls with Avocado Cilantro Drizzle
Wednesday – Chicken Fajita Bake with Cauliflower Rice
Thursday – Leftovers
Friday – Chili
Saturday – Ribs with Crispy Garlic Ranch Potatoes and Broccoli
Sunday – Basil Tomato Turkey Meatloaf with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
Now I take those recipes and make up my grocery list based off what I have already.
Don’t forget to add stuff for breakfast and lunches too. Since we eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast everyday (eggs with salsa and avocado, bacon, and fruit) and eat leftovers for lunch I never write this part out. But if you need too – DO IT!
In the beginning I did just to help me have a visual when making my grocery list.
Also don’t forget to add any snacks or lunches for your little one. Our son typically eats PB&J’s or chicken nuggets with vegetables or fruit for lunch, and Cheerios’s or Goldfish for a snack. Again if you can’t remember to add these things – make breakfast, lunch, and snack apart of your menu plan.
Now time to order grocery’s!
This is why I love technology sometimes you can literally order everything from the comfort of your home and just pick it up latter – never having to get out of your car!
Click on the following links to sign up for grocery services!
Walmart Grocery Pick-Up (Free)
Sam’s Club Pick-Up (Free with Sam’s membership)
Publix (Fee amount per year here)
Now you are on your way to health dinners all week! See it wasn’t that bad. With a little effort you and your family are set on food for the whole week. Keep it up!
I tend to save my menus so I can rotate weeks making it even easier!
How do you meal plan?
Leave your tips and advice in the comments below!